Jason Heyward joined a growing injury list Monday.
Heyward, the St. Louis Cardinals right fielder who started in center Monday night because of an elbow injury to Randal Grichuk, left the game in the third inning after experiencing tightness in his left hamstring.
Heyward was stretching the leg during his first-inning at-bat. He played in the field in the second, but did not return for the third. Rookie Tommy Pham replaced him.
“We’re going to have to wait and see,” said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, whose team defeated San Francisco 2-1 on a fourth-inning home run by Yadier Molina and an eighth-inning RBI by Mark Reynolds. “He came out and it just felt a little tight. It didn’t seem like it was anything more than that, from what we hear. (The trainers) are going to keep getting their hands on him and give him every test we can give and see where we are.”
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Heyward had left the stadium and was not available to comment after the game.
The Cardinals already are without Grichuk, Matt Holliday, Jon Jay, Matt Adams, Adam Wainwright, Matt Belisle, Jordan Walden, yet the beat goes on. They are a major league-best 76-42, including 45-18 at Busch Stadium.
Matheny hopes the Cardinals got Heyward out of the game before the injury developed into something more serious.
“It wasn’t necessarily a cramp as much as he just couldn’t get it loose,” Matheny said. “That was the reason for us to have concern, obviously. So we sent him upstairs to get it stretched and it just didn’t get to the point where it felt like it was loosening up like he would expect it to, so we had to make a move.”
Matheny said the team would “pause” before deciding whether it needed to make a roster move before the game Tuesday against the Giants.
“We’re not going to jump into anything right now. We’re just going to wait and see,” Matheny said. “I felt like we were being cautious today. Jason wanted to go back out there and play defense and see how it loosened up. He said there’s been days where one thing or another was tight, and he was able to go and figure it out.
“We made the proactive move of getting him out when we could. Hopefully, that pays off. We’re not going to go any further than that until the medical teams gives us information that says otherwise.”
If Heyward can’t play for a few days, or possibly longer, the Cardinals’ outfield corps will consist of rookies Stephen Piscotty and Tommy Pham, Brandon Moss and Peter Bourjos. Pete Kozma also is capable of helping in the outfield.